The street where I grew up on Long Island’s south shore was well-known around town as a place where the neighbors were all friends. It was true. We spent holidays having brunch across the street, New Years Eve a few doors down and block parties across 10 lawns. These neighbors continued to be in my lives after I’d moved away, celebrating my marriage and my daughter’s arrival.
Until I had Bean, I didn’t know many neighbors – let alone people – in the town of Vienna. Drew and I always joked that we would make friends when we either got a dog or a baby. We tried fostering a dog when I was seven months pregnant and met neighbors a few doors down who had a baby the night after I met them. Hmm. So the dog thing worked. What would happen with a baby in my arms?
Turns out our hypothesis was right. We often spotted couples walking with strollers and accosted – I mean introduced ourselves to – them. (Hi Leigh and Amanda!). Now when I walk Bean there’s a host of regulars I stop and chat with for updates on life as we know it.
But tonight – Halloween – offered a reminder of what I experienced as a child on Long Island – only this time, we are adults! Our friends around the block had drinks and candy out on the front lawn, and we parents gathered with our small children to eat, drink, and snap photos of babies in costumes. Finally! A real sense of community, and of celebration of the everyday joys of parenthood.
I’ve made lots of friends in Vienna through the different moms groups I’m in. This blog also helps (thanks again for reading!): I’ve met other blogging mommies (hi Karrie, Jen and Sarah!). And I’ve found Vienna friends who like to go on outings with our small babies – last week four of us went to nearby Hollin Farms, and laughed as we realized it was entirely too cold to have our little ones outside on the blustery day.
My sister and brother-in-law were just here from Long Island, and I was a bit homesick watching their car pull away from our house, going back up north. But maybe as we get to spend more time with of our neighbors, Vienna won’t seem so far from my definition of “home”.
Happy Halloween! Don’t be a Halloween-ey!